Google’s entry into the mobility market kicked started with the Pixel phone, and while the company has never hard any hardware production of their own, a first of such may be lying around the corner
The Pixel which has Google carrier name is not actual production of the company, rather a contract deal in partnership with HTC. However, that is not the focus of this news– Google has recently filed a patent that hint about foldable plans of the tech giant, and for some reasons, it suggests the search giant is experimenting with foldable display technology, similar to the panels seen on the Huawei Mate X and Samsung Galaxy Fold.
The patent, according to The Verge was first spotted by Patently Mobile, and it describes a method for constructing an OLED panel that can be bent repeatedly and used in a “modern computing device.”
Like I said earlier, it is confusing to see the patent coming from Google’s end- a company that does not manufacture its own phone, as it is expected that such should come from the Contracted phone brand, except if this is supposed to mean that Google has finally admitted plans to produce its own original device.
Like Apple with its iPhones, Google reportedly outsources manufacturing of the Pixel 3 to Foxconn, and both HTC and LG shared manufacturing duties on the Pixel 2 phones. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for a product based on this patent to see the light of day, it’s just that in the event it does, it’ll probably be because Google licensed it out to a third-party rather than producing a foldable screen itself.
The patent goes on to imagine a possible folding device that could bend in two different places — a “Z-fold display” — without breaking, thanks to what sounds like a smaller number of layers required when building the screen of the device. We’re not display manufacturing experts, though.
As seen in the image above, the patent looks like a Z-shaped device, which is obviously far different from whatever we have seen so far, making it so unclear whether the company is serious about making a phone in that kind of shape or probably the image has rather explained the company’s intention wrongly.
Samsung’s Galaxy Fold is rated to survive “hundreds of thousands” of folds, while Gorilla Glass manufacturer Corning is developing a glass screen that can be folded and, it hopes, will be more durable than existing plastic solutions. It’s important to mention that Google’s patent doesn’t even mention the word “phone” once. Instead, it refers to how the display could be used by “modern computing devices.” That sounds to me like it’s talking about phones to us, but it could refer to tablets, or even laptops, assuming Google is still working on tablets and laptops.
Google’s interest in the foldable device has so far brought a lot of doubt, and without seeing the actual device hit the mainstream, it is pretty difficult to believe any of the patents sighted so far. The company added support for foldable display into Android last year November and also put in some effort to ensure the perfection of Samsung foldable operating system. With that said, it is now obvious that foldable phones are an important aspect of the Android future, and that alone is enough for Google to replicate a similar idea.